Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Sid Salter: Unlike Justice Gorsuch, Kavanaugh will face a partisan Senate confirmation firestorm

After much prime time buildup, Trump announced Monday night his nomination of U.S. Court of Appeals Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the nation’s highest court to succeed the retiring Presiding Justice Anthony Kennedy.

Kavanaugh’s nomination comes about 18 months after Trump’s successful nomination of former Tenth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Neil M. Gorsuch of Denver to the U.S. Supreme Court to succeed the late Presiding Justice Antonin Scalia.

The similarities between Republican President Donald Trump’s nominees to the U.S. Supreme Court are somewhat obvious. Both are young – Gorsuch is 50, Kavanaugh is 53. Both were raised in the Catholic faith, although Gorsuch would later join the Episcopal Church as an adult.

Both were graduates of the Jesuit-run Georgetown Preparatory School in North Bethesda, Maryland. Gorsuch earned a law degree from Harvard while Kavanaugh earned his law degree from Yale. Both clerked at the U.S. Supreme Court for Justice Kennedy.

Gorsuch won an 11-9 party line approval by the Senate Judiciary Committee on the way to a full Senate confirmation by a 54–45 vote, with three Democrats voting with the GOP.

It’s highly unlikely that Kavanaugh’s confirmation process will go as smoothly as Gorsuch’s.

Part partisan soap opera and part political kabuki performance, Senate judicial confirmation hearings are complex events that usually have precious little to do with the qualifications of the nominee to serve on the federal bench.
As noted when Gorsuch faced the same process, judicial confirmation hearings are almost always opportunities for the small number of judicial issues that have both major media interest and big lobbies either in favor or against them to engage in ideological warfare with a large audience.

Those issues frequently include gun rights, reproductive rights, LGBTQ rights, and religious rights. But no issue draws more political fire — pro or con — than abortion rights or more succinctly the Roe v. Wade decision.

From the right or the left, from Republican or Democrat, no single legal posture matters more in judicial confirmation than the nominee’s past record, prior public pronouncements, or in the absence of those, accusations and/or speculation on the nominee’s position on Roe v. Wade.

Since Gorsuch was replacing the reliably conservative Justice Scalia, his confirmation drew opposition from the left and from the usual pro-choice groups and individuals. But Gorsuch made a relatively small political target on the abortion question. The Colorado judge had written little to nothing on the issue of abortion or Roe v. Wade — making an effective attack by his partisan opponents difficult.

Far more attention was paid to the GOP decision to deny a confirmation hearing or a Senate vote to former Democratic President Barack Obama’s Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland. Obama had nominated Garland to succeed Scalia.

But Kavanaugh is replacing Justice Kennedy, who had long been the high court’s swing vote on a number of social issues. Unlike Kennedy, Democrats, pro-choice groups and the pro-choice lobby perceive Kavanaugh as a “sure-thing” vote against Roe v. Wade – and hence his confirmation process will be nothing short of a partisan political firestorm.

Another key difference in Gorsuch and Kavanaugh is the fact that unlike Gorsuch, Kavanaugh has an extensive background in partisan Republican politics. He served in the Office of Independent Counsel under Ken Starr investigating former President Bill Clinton, the Vince Foster probe, and wrote recommending impeachment of Clinton.

Kavanaugh later took part in the Florida recount in 2000 on behalf of the George W. Bush campaign. He later served on Bush’s White House staff.

In short, Kavanaugh represents for Senate Democrats a much harder partisan target than did Gorsuch based on his past political activities. That fact, plus the fact that Kavanaugh would be replacing the moderate Justice Kennedy as a right-of-center conservative, will make his confirmation path far more difficult than that which Gorsuch successfully traversed.

Sid Salter is a syndicated columnist. Contact him at sidsalter@sidsalter.com.

37 comments:

Anonymous said...

I trust Trump’s decision and pick.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Sid. You've said what thousands of other pundits have said already. We get it.

Anonymous said...

Quoting Salter: "Kavanaugh has an extensive background in partisan Republican politics. He served in the Office of Independent Counsel under Ken Starr investigating former President Bill Clinton, the Vince Foster probe, and wrote recommending impeachment of Clinton."

So, it appears Salter is suggesting that the 'Office of Independent Counsel' is not independent after all but is partisan? And being involved to a minor degree in the investigation (probe?) of the untimely and questionable death of Hillary's attorney Vince Foster was a 'partisan' undertaking?

I knew Sid was losing it, but know it now more than ever.

Anonymous said...

@8:21

Did you also trust his selections of Rex Tillerson, Tom Price, Steve Bannon, Anthony Scaramucci, and Michael Flynn?

Valimer Putin said...

The Democrats will obstruct anything the Republicans try to do. The Democrats are leaning more & more to Socialist Democracy.

Anonymous said...

"The Democrats will obstruct anything the Republicans try to do."

From the party that refused to have a hearing for a President's SCOTUS nominee.

Also, the Republicans control the Presidency, both houses of congress, and have a conservative majority on the Court. It's the Republicans that have failed to get anything done other than a tax break in 2 years of total control.

Stop hitting yourself and blaming the Democrats.



Anonymous said...

It's pretty tough to treat any of Trump's actions as legitimate since he is likely to be impeached and imprisoned and a large portion of his staff has either been fired/resigned for incompetence/corruption or arrested. There are also still serious doubts about the legitimacy of the election. Just yesterday he decided to pardon domestic terrorists. I would be very careful about allowing any of his actions to affect this nation in the long term. The joke has gone far enough as it is.

Anonymous said...


10:09- I think you're a little nuts

Anonymous said...

@9:40

This is not @8:40 but I can tell you after having Obamacare and the pathological "if you like doctor you can keep your doctor, if you like your healthcare plan you can keep your healthcare plan and by the way dumb f___s, you premiums are going to go down" lies crammed down our throats, we really don't care how many folks Trump has to go through, as long as it isn't a leftist making the choices.

Conservatives and Libertarians have awaked to the Leftist total war fact, and finally realized you choose the lessor of evils. Hell, evangelicals supporting Trump proved that.

Kingfish said...

You actually believe that. Terrorists? They were acquitted in court. You left that part out. Did you say anything when Bill Clinton pardoned a real terrorist? The Puerto Rican dude. Remember that one? Didn't think so.

The funny part is people like you who believe he will be impeached and thrown in jail. Yeah right. Your crowd also used to say the same about Bush as well. He should be impeached for war crimes, yada yada yada.

As for whining about Garland, let me see, what about Obama packing the DC Court when he couldn't get his way? No manipulation there, none at all. Or what about how the Dems sat on Bush's nominees for years. Remember a black female jurist named Brown? Of course, THAT wasn't discrimination, was it?

Anonymous said...

@10:09AM

By "domestic terrorists" do you mean like Bill Ayers and the Weather Undergroud? The bombing and cop killing kind of domestic terrorists?

The left lecturing conservatives and libertarians about domestic terrorists is like the Kennedy's and the Clinton's lecturing on women's rights and the #MeToo movement.

Anonymous said...


Judge Kavanaugh seems like an excellent choice.

I look forward to his confirmation and hopefully a far right extremist to replace ol'
Ruth.

Love those liberal tears !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Kavanaugh has sterling credentials and will be easily confirmed, just as Gorsuch was. Yes, Dems will try to Bork him, but nothing will come of it. McConnell will call an end to the nonsense in time for Kavanaugh to be confirmed and sitting when the court session begins in October. The one question Kavanaugh will get that will be difficult for him to answer is, "Do you consider Roe v Wade to be settled law"? I think Kavanaugh will say yes to get confirmed, despite that no one has considered Roe v Wade settled since it was handed down, including educated partisans on the left who have always conceded it is poorly reasoned, as it had to be in order to find that a right to privacy included the right to engage in abortion of a healthy fetus.

Plain ol' Catfish said...

@ Kingfish

"You actually believe that. Terrorists? They were acquitted in court. You left that part out. Did you say anything when Bill Clinton pardoned a real terrorist? The Puerto Rican dude. Remember that one? Didn't think so.

The funny part is people like you who believe he will be impeached and thrown in jail. Yeah right. Your crowd also used to say the same about Bush as well. He should be impeached for war crimes, yada yada yada.

As for whining about Garland, let me see, what about Obama packing the DC Court when he couldn't get his way? No manipulation there, none at all. Or what about how the Dems sat on Bush's nominees for years. Remember a black female jurist named Brown? Of course, THAT wasn't discrimination, was it?"


Now Bush, I'll give you that. The huff'n'puff from the left was excessive

But with Trump - Flynn (National Security Advisor), Manafort (Trump Campaign Director), Gates (Assistant Campaign Director), and Papadopoulos (Campaign Advisor)

Michael Flynn - 1 charge to which he pleaded guilty. Making false statements (1 count, December)

Paul Manafort - Conspiracy Against the United States, Conspiracy to Launder Money, Failure to File Reports of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts, Failure to File Reports of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts, Unregistered Agent of a Foreign Principal, False and misleading statements under the Foreign Agents Registration Act, False and misleading statements under the Foreign Agents Registration Act, False Statements, and in June 2018 - witness tampering.

Rick Gates - Conspiracy against the United States, Conspiracy to launder money, Bank fraud, Bank fraud conspiracy, Subscribing to false tax returns, Assisting in preparation of false tax documents, Subscribing to false amended tax returns, Making false statements, Failure to file reports of foreign bank and financial accounts, Unregistered agent of a foreign principal, False FARA statements - Plead Guilty to Conspiracy and lying.

George Papadopoulos 1 charge to which he pleaded guilty. Making false statements

Flynn, Papadopoulos, and Gates - have all plead guilty - but you think the Trump investigation is a nothig-burger?

C'mon now? I know you lean right, but let's be sensible here.

Anonymous said...

@ 10:09

Seek help little fella .

Anonymous said...

Is it still unclear to anyone that the Democratic party is rapidly transitioning into a full fledged socialist organization ? AND before you whacked out libs freak out over this question...kindly answer it truthfully first.

Anonymous said...

10:09- I think you're a little nuts

More like Chock full o' Nuts......

Anonymous said...

"Elections have consequences"...Nancy Pelosi

"We won, ya'll lost" Barack Obama

Anonymous said...

Hey, 10:32 AM, the LAST thing our Court needs are extremists, whether they be far right or far left!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

@10:09

You've had more than enough Kool-Aid for the day. Put the jug back in the refrigerator for a while.

Anonymous said...

The SCOTUS isn't supposed to be partisan...is it?

Anonymous said...

10:09 is not nuts, just an idiot. Read the editorial in today's Wall Street Journal regarding the pardon, and the source of the "domestic terrorist" label the Obama gang attached to them.

Anonymous said...

There has been more than a little egregious behavior by both parties and the above defenses of your party by pointing out the sins of the other party is not just a stupid defense but hypocrisy at it's worst.

I'm old enough to remember when the judiciary wasn't politicized because those of the greatest generation who valued honor more than money and self-interest, knew that was far too dangerous to our democratic republic.

Candidates were recommended by the American Bar, not a political group as were these potential picks, and recommended based on their lack of partisan rulings but on the basis of their legal scholarship and impartiality.

Both parties now want people who drink the party Kool Aid. Eventually, they can use the judicial system to reward or punish those who won't support their ambitions.

While you all have been arguing partisan nonsense, the balance of power has been systematically erased. The Fourth Estate has been neutralized. You've been led to believe there cannot be a such thing as a non-partisan , honorable person in any part of government so no faith in law enforcement or in the FBI or the CIA. Mistakes become conspiracies and one bad apple persuaded you that the entire barrel is rotten.

You believe only in the military. You do remember we have a volunteer military and a hired private military. If you are expecting the military to act against their interest by not following orders, you are naïve beyond belief.


If you think your guns will protect you can have a nice little civil war against bombs ,tanks, artillery and drones, you are nuts. And, do you really think oil companies and arms companies are going to supply YOU?

Some of you with guns will be allowed however to engage in the mass murders of those in your community who aren't loyal enough or the " right sort" and there is no country left to intervene.

What calls itself the GOP has won but I don't think y'all are going to enjoy a one party system or the oligarchy that will follow comes with it.

You were just too math challenged to follow the money so you lazily fell for charisma/rhetoric/and partisan BS. And,you have been too dumb to notice that it's one party rule that has kept Mississippi poor and fostered corruption...first the Democrats and now the GOP.









Plain ol' Catfish said...

@ July 11, 2018 at 1:16 PM

What kind of beer do you drink, I'll gladly by you a 12-pack for speaking the gospel truth! Well said!

Anonymous said...

10:08 - Your daily receipt of talking points is showing. Having a majority of both houses of congress is often meaningless when the majority is one to five members and republicans don't always block-vote like democrats usually do.

If it were as simple as you suggest, it would be a breeze. When elected folks, using their best judgment and conscience, cross over with votes, there is no assurance that owning the house or the senate will always work to your advantage. You didn't know this because the guy you get your news from, Rachel Maddow, didn't tell you.

Louis LeFleur said...

Wish I could find a YouTube of Mark Russell performing his "We Won't Be Borked Again!" song.

Look Out said...

After the election r in November, we will have to revisit that Impeachment Stuff. Remember the magic number is 23. Of course the Senate will never convict, but Impeachment is highly probable.

Anonymous said...

Having a majority of both houses of congress is often meaningless when the majority is one to five members and republicans don't always block-vote like democrats usually do.

A lie never cares who tells it!? SMH

Anonymous said...

@13:16, You, my friend, win post of the millennium! I'll one-up the 12-pack and get you some good bourbon.

Anonymous said...

1:16 - Well said. I'll throw in the 3rd 12 pack. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Your having my baby!

Anonymous said...

1:16
What type of moron doesn't know that the American Bar Association is a political group?
Every Party has ALWAYS wanted the people that drink the Party Kool-Aid.
The self-named Fourth Estate has erased itself with it's complete and total bias for Democrats.
The only people that engage in mass murder of a countries populace are those Socialist/Communist/Progressive totalitarians. Name one that wasn't! Don't tire me with "Native Americans". There is no one that was magically materialized here.
Put up, or shut up, Nancy.
Please explain the just "too math challenged to follow the money so you lazily fell for charisma/rhetoric/and partisan BS". talking point.

Comparing Oranges said...

When the left wins the white house and one or both houses of congress, we on the right moan and take our lumps. We listen to 'sit in the back of the bus', 'you lost' and 'we won'.

When the right wins the white house and one or both houses of congress, we hear moaning from the left, chants calling for bipartisanship and working with the left and crossing aisles and calls to ignore the spoils of victory.

Just the facts, ma'am.

Ophelia said...

Among the bibulous babble here (I feel certain many have been drinking while posting) only 10:38 makes any sense.

Anonymous said...

1:16 pm here...Thanks but I'm beer drinker though always have it on hand for friends.,I'll join you with a vodka tonic. I'm not expecting tariffs on vodka :-)

Anonymous said...

This Ophelia character is always impressed with herself.

Anonymous said...

8:03 pm You are the moron if you think all lawyers are members of the same party. You obviously have no clue about how the ABA functions or picks it's officers.

And, you are mistaken if you think that there wasn't a time when both parties cared about competence and thought that doing their job better than the other side did mattered. They even managed to solve problems together for the good of the Nation. Our Interstate highway system would be an example.

The parties now take a position against whatever position the other party has taken regardless of the merits or facts. Please contrast and compare the hearing you saw yesterday with the hearings on Watergate for the proof.




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Trollfest '09

Trollfest '07 was such a success that Jackson Jambalaya will once again host Trollfest '09. Catch this great event which will leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Othor Cain and his band, The Black Power Structure headline the night while Sonjay Poontang returns for an encore performance. Former Frank Melton bodyguard Marcus Wright makes his premier appearance at Trollfest singing "I'm a Sweet Transvestite" from "The Rocky Horror Picture Show." Kamikaze will sing his new hit, “How I sold out to da Man.” Robbie Bell again performs: “Mamas, don't let your babies grow up to be Bells” and “Any friend of Ed Peters is a friend of mine”. After the show, Ms. Bell will autograph copies of her mug shot photos. In a salute to “Dancing with the Stars”, Ms. Bell and Hinds County District Attorney Robert Smith will dance the Wango Tango.

Wrestling returns, except this time it will be a Battle Royal with Othor Cain, Ben Allen, Kim Wade, Haley Fisackerly, Alan Lange, and “Big Cat” Donna Ladd all in the ring at the same time. The Battle Royal will be in a steel cage, no time limit, no referee, and the losers must leave town. Marshand Crisler will be the honorary referee (as it gives him a title without actually having to do anything).


Meet KIM Waaaaaade at the Entergy Tent. For five pesos, Kim will sell you a chance to win a deed to a crack house on Ridgeway Street stuffed in the Howard Industries pinata. Don't worry if the pinata is beaten to shreds, as Mr. Wade has Jose, Emmanuel, and Carlos, all illegal immigrants, available as replacements for the it. Upon leaving the Entergy tent, fig leaves will be available in case Entergy literally takes everything you have as part of its Trollfest ticket price adjustment charge.

Donna Ladd of The Jackson Free Press will give several classes on learning how to write. Smearing, writing without factchecking, and reporting only one side of a story will be covered. A donation to pay their taxes will be accepted and she will be signing copies of their former federal tax liens. Ms. Ladd will give a dramatic reading of her two award-winning essays (They received The Jackson Free Press "Best Of" awards.) "Why everything is always about me" and "Why I cover murders better than anyone else in Jackson".

In the spirit of helping those who are less fortunate, Trollfest '09 adopts a cause for which a portion of the proceeds and donations will be donated: Keeping Frank Melton in his home. The “Keep Frank Melton From Being Homeless” booth will sell chances for five dollars to pin the tail on the jackass. John Reeves has graciously volunteered to be the jackass for this honorable excursion into saving Frank's ass. What's an ass between two friends after all? If Mr. Reeves is unable to um, perform, Speaker Billy McCoy has also volunteered as when the word “jackass” was mentioned he immediately ran as fast as he could to sign up.


In order to help clean up the legal profession, Adam Kilgore of the Mississippi Bar will be giving away free, round-trip plane tickets to the North Pole where they keep their bar complaint forms (which are NOT available online). If you don't want to go to the North Pole, you can enjoy Brant Brantley's (of the Mississippi Commission on Judicial Performance) free guided tours of the quicksand field over by High Street where all complaints against judges disappear. If for some reason you are unable to control yourself, never fear; Judge Houston Patton will operate his jail where no lawyers are needed or allowed as you just sit there for minutes... hours.... months...years until he decides he is tired of you sitting in his jail. Do not think Judge Patton is a bad judge however as he plans to serve free Mad Dog 20/20 to all inmates.

Trollfest '09 is a pet-friendly event as well. Feel free to bring your dog with you and do not worry if your pet gets hungry, as employees of the Jackson Zoo will be on hand to provide some of their animals as food when it gets to be feeding time for your little loved one.

Relax at the Fox News Tent. Since there are only three blonde reporters in Jackson (being blonde is a requirement for working at Fox News), Megan and Kathryn from WAPT and Wendy from WLBT will be on loan to Fox. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both and a torn-up Obama yard sign will entitle you to free drinks served by Megan, Wendy, and Kathryn. Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required. Just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '09 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.


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Jackson Jambalaya is the home of Trollfest '07. Catch this great event which promises to leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Sonjay Poontang and his band headline the night with a special steel cage, no time limit "loser must leave town" bout between Alan Lange and "Big Cat"Donna Ladd following afterwards. Kamikaze will perform his new song F*** Bush, he's still a _____. Did I mention there was no referee? Dr. Heddy Matthias and Lori Gregory will face off in the undercard dueling with dangling participles and other um, devices. Robbie Bell will perform Her two latest songs: My Best Friends are in the Media and Mama's, Don't Let Your Babies Grow up to be George Bell. Sid Salter of The Clarion-Ledger will host "Pin the Tail on the Trial Lawyer", sponsored by State Farm.

There will be a hugging booth where in exchange for your young son, Frank Melton will give you a loooong hug. Trollfest will have a dunking booth where Muhammed the terrorist will curse you to Allah as you try to hit a target that will drop him into a vat of pig grease. However, in the true spirit of Separate But Equal, Don Imus and someone from NE Jackson will also sit in the dunking booth for an equal amount of time. Tom Head will give a reading for two hours on why he can't figure out who the hell he is. Cliff Cargill will give lessons with his .80 caliber desert eagle, using Frank Melton photos as targets. Tackleberry will be on hand for an autograph session. KIM Waaaaaade will be passing out free titles and deeds to crackhouses formerly owned by The Wood Street Players.

If you get tired come relax at the Fox News Tent. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both will entitle you to free drinks.Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required, just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '07 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

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